STEELE RESEARCH CENTER, TUCSON, AZ – PANDA – AZ COMMERCIAL PHOTOGRAPHER

Getting caught up on a MAJOR backlog of blog posts is allowing me to relive some of the more memorable shoots of my year thus far. None were more memorable than the shoot we did in Tucson at the Steele Research Center at Tucson’s famous University Medical Center. Steele Research Center is Ground Zero for many of the most talented minds in Pediatric Research in the world. Last year, I was commissioned by The Steele Foundation  to create an art installation as a gift to the Physicians and Scientists who have dedicated their lives to the cause of saving the lives of children. Here are a few (really bad) images of that installation. The mission of the Steele Foundation is Teach. Heal. Discover. We created the wallpaper by having each doctor write the words, Teach, Heal, Discover on a 3×5 card; we then scanned them and created the wallpaper behind the pieces. Because the doctors are from all over the world, Teach, Heal and Discover are written in many different languages.

 

In early May, we returned to photograph some of the patients at Steele for the PANDA fund raiser that is held every year (this year in May). We spent the day photographing kids of all ages, with varying diagnoses – from cancer, autism, diabetes, asthma, etc. I am a portrait photographer. My goal is to connect with and capture the spirit of the person I’m photographing. I don’t always succeed, but that is always my goal. I find this much easier to accomplish when I am photographing children. I’ve never liked photography that trivializes children. I like to portray children with respect for the people that they are now and for the potential in who they are becoming. The opportunity to photograph these kids has been life-changing for me.

In addition to being a photographer, I am also the mother of two special needs children (both of my children have Autism). I could so relate to those parents sitting there watching their children being photographed that day. You could see in the parent’s faces that they are in a battle for their children’s health and development; that every tiny gain is cause for celebration, while every step back is just another obstacle to overcome.
They never give up, they never lose hope.
I want the viewer of these images to see that while these kids may have health or developmental problems, that they are, first and foremost, KIDS. Not just patients or a diagnosis but someone’s child who does the things that kids do, dreams the dreams that kids dream and has the promise of an amazing life and deserves the best treatment that the advancements of science can offer. If you are looking for a cause to support, you could do a lot worse than sending a few bucks to PANDA to help support the Steele Research Center.